Here are answers to some of our customers most frequently asked questions regarding our Coats of Arms and Surname Histories at Out of the Blue.
Hall of names use all sorts of records including tax records, census records, ragman rolls and sources such as the Doomsday Book, which was completed in 1086, to find the earliest mentions of your surname. A Bibliography/list of the sources that have been used are printed on the back of every print.
Where do the Coats of Arms come from?
We are not "granting" Coats of Arms. The Coat of Arms for each surname is the earliest one (where possible) on record that could be found for that name at the College of Arms.
The Coat of Arms is different to one I've seen before/one I have?
Most surnames will have more than one Coat of Arms associated with it, as Coats of Arms were passed from Father to Son it would have to be 'differenced' or changed to distinguish it from previous Coats of Arms. Whilst you have seen a different Coat of Arms it doesn't mean that either is incorrect, it just means they have been registered to different people at different points in time. The Coat of Arms we have on the system is the oldest one for the name where possible.
Does every name have a Coat of Arms?
Not every name has a Coat of Arms but seeing as Coats of Arms have been registered at the College of Arms since 1484 it's likely that most names will have a Coat of Arms registered at some point.
Is this my Family Tree?
No, this is not your family tree. It is a history of the surname. Where you trace your Family Tree back, we are coming forwards from the earliest record that can be found with your Surname, for example a lot of names were registered in the Doomsday Book, the earliest Census records 1086. It is the early origins of a name that is traced, which is not a particular branch but the history of the name. Occassionally we would hope that in doing your own research you may meet somewhere in the middle if you trace back far enough. The bibliography on the back may be of use for finding sources that you may not have thought of looking when tracing your family.
Why don't you have my name?
The research has been done for over 35 years. Whilst there are over 1,000,000 names on the database not all of the Surnames have yet been researched. This sounds a lot but there is still much more research to be done. Every name 'not found' gets added to the system and we send them back to the researchers. We get updates once a year, so keep trying as it will get there eventually.
How much does it cost?
It costs £19.99 for a Coat of Arms and Surname History print and £24.99 for a Double Coat of Arms print. These prints can either be framed or just bought as prints but in both instances make lovely gifts for that someone special.
If you have any further questions or wish to check to see if we have your surname please call us on 01803 866009 and we will be happy to help.